In previous decades, the word ‘family’ was very easy to understand. It just referred to the nuclear family – a mom, a dad, and their kids. However, that is all changing, and in this current day and age, the face of the modern family is a lot different to what it used to be.
A family doesn’t just have to be parents and children anymore. In fact, there are lots of different interpretations of the word ‘family’. Here are just a few of them.
The Nuclear Family
Of course, the nuclear family isn’t dead just yet as it is still the most popular family arrangement. In fact, some studies show that the number of nuclear families has increased ever so slightly over the years. Most people choose to live this way as it provides the most financial stability, thanks to the two incomes from the parents. But that doesn’t mean it is better or worse than any of the following options.
Single Parent Families
Even though studies indicate that nuclear families are steadily on the increase, so are the numbers of single-parent families. These occur whenever the regular nuclear family breaks down, and the parents split up. However, there is also a small portion of single-parent families that are made up of women who have decided to have children without a partner. This is because they might have put their career before a relationship. Thanks to new scientific techniques, they are able to have children on their own using sperm from a donor.
Co-parenting is when a child has parents who are not linked romantically and are not in a relationship together. This is a very common situation in the LGBT community as gay men and women can have children together but don’t have to be together in the traditional way. However, it is also getting more popular with heterosexual people. Some women choose to co-parent children with their friends. Having a roommate with a child often leads people into this situation. It is also common for friends who have gone through a divorce to move in together so that they can help each other raise their children.
In some cases, the nuclear family is being enlarged to create extended families. This isn’t such a new family arrangement, as extended families have been around for quite some time already. In fact, in many Eastern cultures and societies, they are actively encouraged. They have become a lot more popular over the years over here in the west. These are when grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins move in with the family and all of the extended relatives live together. Most families decide to live like this if they need to take care of elderly relatives. It’s much easier to have everyone living together under the same roof!
Which family sounds most like yours? Each of these different arrangements comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, so there’s really no wonder different family types work for different people!